Mum and baby bonding starts from conception. Bonding is a non-physical special connection between mother and child. It influences the child’s physical and emotional development as well as the mother’s wellbeing during pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding. It facilitates physical processes like for example, the mother’s let down when it is time to feed even if the baby is out of sight or has shown no signs of hunger/distress. Bonding cannot be acquired or forced. It is in-built and just needs to be tried and tested. The following exercise uses mindfulness techniques to help with mother-baby attunement. You can read it mindfully while breastfeeding or holding your baby.
Bonding Mindfulness Exercise
Make sure you are in a quiet space, away from the busyness and noise. You may have relaxing music in the background. Sit comfortably and place your attention to your breathing. Breathe in and out deeply. Yes, you are holding your baby but for now just place your attention to your breathing. Deep inhalations, deep exhalations. Become aware of your back supported against the chair/armchair. Mothers’ attention is so much placed forward, onto the baby, the breast, the child. For now, bring your awareness to your back and keep breathing. Feel the shoulder blades, rib bones, lumbars and lower back. Then become aware of your sitting bones resting against the seat pad. Feel the support. Finally, bring your attention to your feet (right foot, left foot) lightly resting against the floor. That is another source of support, this time coming from the ground. The chair, the earth underneath are sustaining, protecting you and baby right now.
And now bring your awareness to your baby. Feel the gentle movements of your baby breathing, the softness of his/her skin, light weight and warmth. Babies and mums can synchronise their breathing in as little time as 3 seconds. So by now, you are probably breathing as one. How is this possible?
Imagine there is an invisible cord through which all kinds of non-verbal communication happens between yourself and your baby. Some mothers visualise it of a certain colour, length or texture. Others get a sense for it. Even if you cant visualise or feel it, just imagine that it is there. Next, where is it? some mothers feel it at around their navel; others around their heart. No matter how it is or where is it, the important thing is that you bring it to your consciousness as if shedding light on to it.
Become aware that this cord represents the deep non-verbal, beyond-matter connection between yourself and your baby. It cannot be explained. It is beyond comprehension. A very very old and deep connection. It is wise and nurturing in its quality. It goes beyond time and space. It has no limits. It is boundless. And it is made of LOVE. Open your heart and feel the love for your child. Fill up your heart with the love for the sweetest, cutest, most loving creature that is in your arms. And send that love through the cord onto him/her. Keep sending your love and await for the most amazing development as you will soon start feeling that love back to you. The connection is dual, from you to baby and from baby to you. Feel love blossoming, raising and expanding until it wraps you both into a cocoon of LOVE. In this love-filled space there is no room for fears or worries. It is a space of safety. It is a space of deep knowing. It is a space of trust. Trust in yourself (your body), your baby, your most unique, magical, extraordinary relationship.
And know that now all is well. All is well. All is well.
When the time is ready, gently come back into the room.